Sunday, June 25, 2006

Buggies and brollies

click photo to enlarge
I've got a business proposition that I think is a winner. We've all seen how the design of the baby buggy has changed over the years. Gone are the steel-sided, large, spoked-wheel, upholstered monsters of yesteryear, and in their place we have a wide range of fashionable vehicles. You can have 8, 4 or 3 wheels, baby facing forwards or backwards, seating for 1 or 2 (and probably 3), made of plastic, alloy and nylon, and all will ingeniously fold into the size of a matchbox - well, maybe a shoebox. But, and here is my sure-fire winning idea, none of them match your car!

Now, in fairness I have to say I pinched this idea from Land Rover. A few years ago I saw a Land Rover baby buggy. It was military green, of course, and the wheels looked like they'd negotiate any swamp or desert you cared to tackle. On the side was the distinctive Land Rover logo. But since then, no other manufacturer, to my knowledge, has taken up this challenge. I'm sure a bit of venture capital could set up a factory turning out baby buggies that were styled to match a range of cars. There could be racing red Ferrari buggies with a cute rampant horse and a rear spoiler. Or how about sleek black BMW buggies with the propeller logo in the centre of each wheel, and a dark tinted plastic rainhood. And surely Jeep could match Land Rover by having a buggy with both roof and bull bars and a spare wheel on the back! There must be millions of potential buyers out there, including Toyota drivers who want to go up market by owning a Lamborghini baby buggy with gull-wing sides! If you would like to invest in this venture please send me lots of money in plain brown envelopes.

This flight of fancy popped into my head as I photographed, from beneath an umbrella, during a rain shower at Lytham, Lancashire. The afternoon had been dark and cloudy but most people seemed to have been caught without wet-weather protection. However, this couple and their child in the buggy were ready for the rain. I photographed them as they hurried back to their car, forming silhouettes against the sky and sea, an effect that I increased in post processing.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen